Frequently Asked Questions


Visa Questions

  • The following classifications of religious workers qualify for the EB-4 visa:

    1. Ministers: People authorized by the religious group to conduct religious services and other functions.
    2. Professionals in religious vocations: Those working in positions that are traditionally a part of the religious group’s activities, such as missionaries, counselors, liturgical workers. For this classification, a bachelor’s degree is required.
    3. Others in religious vocations: Applicants who have made a demonstrated commitment to religious life under the denomination, such as monks and nuns. Petitioners must have been working for the religious denomination for two years prior to filing the EB-4 application.
  • The EB-4 applicant must have an approved Form I-360, except for certain employees or former U.S. employees abroad. A labor certification is not required for the EB-4 visa. The application procedure for the EB-4 visa is complex and requires a considerable amount of documentation. It is critical to have an attorney who is experienced and thorough in complying with the complicated requirements of the petition process.

    At Sethi & Mazaheri, our firm will advise you of the different documentation needed for the EB-4 visa and anticipate potential barriers to entry in order to make sure that your initial application has the maximum chance for favorable action. To find out if you qualify for the EB-4 visa, contact us now.

  • The right of asylum is available to those who face persecution in their home countries. In order to qualify under existing US immigration law, a person must demonstrate that he or she has been a victim of persecution in their home country in the past or that he or she possess a “well-founded fear” persecution in the future on account of one of the following characteristics:

    •  religion,
    •  political opinion
    •  race,
    •  nationality, or
    •  membership in a social group

    An application must be supported by evidence of the likelihood of harm. Therefore, the application must be through and well researched and generally include factual and legal arguments. Click here to find out about the method we use to construct a successful application.

  • Generally, asylum applications must be filed within one year after entry into the United States. However, two exceptions exist to the one-year deadline: extraordinary circumstances and changed circumstances.

    Some examples of such exceptions include grave illnesses, changes within the home country that raise the risk of persecution, and changes in the applicant’s status or personal activities that increase or introduce the risk of harm in the home country.

  • If you are in removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge, asylum is available as a defense to deportation. Click here to find out more.

  • There are two visas available to victims of domestic violence: the VAWA visa and the U Visa

  • If you are in removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge, both the U-Visa and VAWA Visa petitions are available to as a defense to deportation.

  • The EB-1 is targeted towards individuals who are amongst the most successful in their fields within the education, sciences, arts, business, or sports. The following are the three EB-1 sub categories:

    1. Workers of Extraordinary Ability-
 For those who can show an extraordinary ability in their profession through extensive evidence, including documentation of sustained national or international acclaim and recognition. No offer of employment is required.
    2. Outstanding Professors and Researchers- For professors and researchers with a minimum of three years experience in research or teaching who have an international reputation for being particularly outstanding in a specific academic field. For this visa, the applicant must accept a teaching or tenured position at a research university or accept a job conducting research with a research organization or industry. The potential employer must offer employment and file the I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with the USCIS.
    3. Multinational Executives and Managers- For managers and executives who have been employed for at least one of the last three years by a parent, subsidiary, branch or affiliate of a U.S. employer. The position itself must be comparable and with a US affiliate or branch of the same company. The potential employer must make a offer of employment and file the I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with the USCIS.


Waiver Questions

  • The following is a list of common reasons why an individual may be inadmissible to the U.S.:

    •  Deportation or removal from the U.S.
    •  Overstay of a visa
    •  Criminal conviction
    •  Fraud or misrepresentation on immigration documents
    •  Health-related inadmissibility

    Depending on the reason for inadmissibility, an individual may be banned from re-entry for three, five, or ten years. In certain circumstances, a lifetime ban may be imposed. In spite of these bans, there may still be an option to legally re-enter the country through a I-601 or I-212 waiver.

  • Inadmissibility waivers are difficult to obtain, however a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer can help you identify the existing options you may have to apply for reentry into the U.S. Depending on the circumstances, a I-601 and/or I212 waiver may be needed to overcome a ground of inadmissibility. To be successful in such an application, generally you must show that a refusal of admission into the United States would lead to extreme hardship to your U.S. citizen spouse, parent, or child.

    At Sethi & Mazaheri, our lawyers are prepared to make the case that your family would face hardship by preparing affidavits and compiling evidence proving the devastating impact that would result if your entry is refused.

  • An applicant may apply to the Waiver Review Division of the State Department to request that they make a recommendation to USCIS to grant a waiver. J1 visa holders may be granted a waiver on one of the following bases:

    1.  No Objection Waiver- Applicants may make a request to the consular section of their home country’s embassy in the United States for a declaration stating that the home country will not object to the waiver of the applicant’s requirement to return home for two years.
    2. Request from an Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency (IGA Waiver)- If an applicant’s departure would impact an agency project, that agency may apply for a waiver on behalf the applicant.
    3. Persecution- An applicant may base his or her waiver applicant on a claim that he or she would be persecuted due to their political opinion, religion, or race, upon returning to their home country.
    4. Exceptional Hardship to a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (or LPR)- If the departure of the applicant would result in exceptional hardship to his/her U.S. citizen or LPR spouse and/or children, he/she may make an application for an exceptional hardship waiver.
    5. Request on behalf of a State Public Health Department- If the applicant entered the country for training or education in the area of medicine, the public health department (or functional equivalent) of the State in which applicant did the training/education can request a waiver on behalf of the applicant.

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